Smoky Sweet Potato Patties with Cool Roasted Garlic Cream

Oddly enough, I used to despise sweet potatoes.

The idea of an ever-so-slightly sweet potato – the thing I knew as something to be mashed or baked and topped with cheese & bacon – was just not my cup of tea. Until about a couple of years ago, all I knew about sweet potatoes were the abundance of brown sugar and marshmallow casseroles that people would pump out every holiday season. Down here, they even count that as a vegetable at most restaurants…not even kidding.  NOOO, thank you. Not a fan. But I try not to write a food off completely until I’ve tried it in every possible form. So one day awhile back, I mixed it up and tried a sweet/hot approach. Diced sweet potatoes tossed in cayenne pepper & honey, roasted in the oven. Now I’m completely hooked, y’allEvery chance I get I’m choosing a sweet potato over a regular one. What was I thinking all those years!?

It seems, however, that my favorite sweet potato recipes always seem to gravitate back toward that savory flavor family that first made me a true believer, so when I saw this recipe on How Sweet It Is, I had no doubt that it would be a new favorite.

Aside from including two things that always get my attention – roasted garlic & avocado – this recipe also gave me yet another wonderful reason to use my favorite spice, Smoked Paprika. Have you bought any yet? If you have, you’ve probably already learned why it’s such an addictive flavor. If you haven’t, well…shame on you.

SMOKY SWEET POTATO PATTIES with ROASTED GARLIC CREAM  Adapted from – Jessica’s recipe over at  How Sweet It Is (she’s one of my favorites!  Check out her blog!)

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes

2 bulbs of roasted garlic

1 cup cannellini beans (large white beans), drained & rinsed

2 garlic cloves, pressed (or finely minced, if you don’t have a press)

1/2 Vidalia onion (you won’t use the whole half, but you’ll need a cheese grater)

1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp cumin

olive oil ( I used a smoked olive oil that I purchased at the Charleston Farmer’s Market, but regular will work just fine!)

2/3 cup 2% Greek yogurt

1 tsp maple syrup/honey (optional)

1 avocado

Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa

Directions:

1) Cook and mash your sweet potatoes. To do this quickly and easily, poke some holes in your potatoes with a fork. Wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes, flip, then 5 minutes more. Once cool, you can scrape out the potato from the skin.

2) In a large bowl, mash beans with a fork. Add in the sweet potato and mash together. Next, take your onion half and, using a coarse cheese grater, grate in some of the onion. Doing it this way really infuses the onion flavor into the dish. You will see it almost creating a “juice”. You don’t need much, maybe grate about 7-10 times.

3) Now add in all of your spices, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, panko, and flour. Mix together until combined, then place mixture in fridge for about 20 minutes. The mixture won’t get very firm, but this should help a little when you go to form your patties…

4) While mixture chills, make your roasted garlic cream. Combine in a food processor the yogurt, 2 bulbs of roasted garlic (squeeze the garlic out), maple syrup/honey and salt & pepper to taste. Process until smooth and set aside.

5) Heat large skillet over medium heat and add about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Remove potato/bean mixture from fridge and form into four patties. Place them gently in skillet when hot. Let sit until fully cooked and golden on one side, then flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes on the other side.

6) Serve warm, topped generously with roasted garlic cream and fresh avocado slices.

We topped ours off with some Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa from Whole Foods. They make it fresh daily and we basically put this on everything…but it’s easy enough to make on your own. Here’s their recipe! 

NOTE: These were great reheated! Just pop them in the oven or back in a pan with a little oil. The roasted garlic cream is also a good condiment for lots of other things – chicken, veggie wraps, french fries, roasted potatoes, bread…your spoon….

As for those sugar-laden sweet potato casseroles? Still not a fan, but maybe some day my taste buds will give in.

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